Message from The President
It’s February, we have made it past the first months of cold temperatures, lockdown and a journey into the unknown of what 2021 will have in store for us. It’s also the beginning of a month long celebration of the contributions of the Black community to Canada. It’s a reflection into the past and a commitment to truth telling. Black History Month is a chance for the Black Community to have a platform to engage in conversations that otherwise go unspoken.
To everyone who has stood up for Black lives in the last year, to the Advocates, Activists and Allies, Thank You. Black History Month is here but don’t forget to continue to UPlift Black voices, spread a message of hope and sustainable change and remember to UPlift Black 365!
Welcome Yaa (Ramona) Deane as Education Coordinator and Board Chair!
Yaa’s journey has been to LOVE people where they are throughout her life as a Wife, Mother, Sister, Educator and Activist. Recent events in Yaa’s personal life and in the world has ignited her passions to be a voice for the oppressed and broken hearted. She is now a very active member of UPlift Black. We are excited to have her as our Board Chair and Education Director.
Yaa Identifies first , as Black and Beautiful from the east coast of Canada. Her mother’s Maternal lineage comes from the Mighty Maroons from Jamaica ( Sara Colley had a son George Wentworth Colley, son of Sir John Wentworth , Governor of Nova Scotia) and her grandfathers’ family is descendants of the ever persevering Black Loyalists. The Black Loyalists worked and lived together with the mi’kmaq people and as a amazing privilege Yaa honors her Indigenous ancestry. Yaa’s paternal side is an incredible mosaic of French, Belgian, Jamaican and Scottish.
Black History Month 2021 - Virtual and Local Programming
UPlift Black 365 – a commitment to ongoing advocacy from UPlift Black. Follow us on our socials to engage in our celebration of all things Black and don’t forget to Share. Support. Show UP
Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/upliftblackorg
Facebook Chat Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/upliftblack
New UPlift Black the Webseries episode is out now!UPlift Black The Web Series – EP.07 – Ginelle Skerritt
This episode, our Founder & President of UPlift Black, Shelly Skinner interviews Ginelle Skerritt, Executive Director of Adinkra Farm (https://adinkrafarm.wordpress.com/)
With the generous support of mtav.ca, UPlift Black’s online Webseries focuses on members of the Black Community living in Canada. Our platform makes space to tell their stories and share their work. The show creates a call to action each episode, offering pathways to achieving racial equity through a conscious community. If you would like to be featured on the show, please visit https://upliftblack.org
Watch ALL episodes here: https://upliftblack.org/uplift-black-web-series/
Virtual Special Event – Accessibility Matters!
Feb 27th 4pm-6pm
A panel of Black Deaf professional artists from across Canada where they will discuss the challenge and beauty of intersectionality as they navigate the hurdle of accessibility and racism.
Natasha “Courage” Bacchus
Ebony R. Gooden, Jenelle Rouse, Rae RezWell, Peter Owusu-Ansah, Hodan Youssouf, Ralf Newberry
You must RSVP via Eventbrite in order to receive the Zoom Webinar link:
Donations are appreciated and can be made via e-transfer to:
*LSQ/ASL DI Interpreters will be provided* *English interpreters will be provided*
Innisfil Library and IdeaLAB –
Maclaren Art Centre
Barrie Public Library –
Making Change –
If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes –
Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury –
Blackford Black History Month Virtual Event:
Bradford Public Library –
Bradford Women+ Group
Move for Change – Fundraiser in support of UPlift Black!
Nantyr High School
Black History Month Speaker Series
For more information contact Roxann Whittingham
St Peters High School in Partnership with ROGERSTV
Video Release on Feb 15th at 10am:
Watch live on ROGERSTV YouTube on Feb 24th at 6pm:
Impact Youth & Cultural Centre
UPlift Black Education
Black History Periodic Table
Learn from Black experts with COURSERA
As COURSERA celebrate Black History Month 2021, we’re excited to share a curated selection of 21 courses taught by Black experts in fields ranging from programming, IT, and finance, to ethical technology, workforce development, mental health, and more.
UPlift Black Book Club
UPlift Black is excited that we have officially wrapped two full cycles of our wonderful book club, and have now entered into our third! This round we are collectively reading The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor.
Why join the book club? Well, as Sonia Renee says in the first few pages of this incredible book, quoting Brene Brown, “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” We are here to share the stories that matter, the stories of Black lives that have been hidden from view in Simcoe County. We meet to discuss the books, of course, but we also meet to share our own stories and how we relate to the words we read. Some food for thought:
“Humans unfortunately make being human exceptionally hard for each other, but I assure you, the work we have done or will do is not about acquiring some way of being that we currently lack. The work is to crumble the barriers of injustice and shame leveled against us so that we might access what we have always been, because we will, if unobstructed, inevitably grow into the purpose for which we were created.”
This is our intention. We want to help break unfair barriers and destroy injustice together so that we can thrive and help each other do so. Through education and the use of words, we can share our stories and UPlift each other, and subsequently UPlift our community.
So join our book club – Black History Month is a great time to start!
Book Club Coordinator
UPlift Black Wellness!
This month Wellness, By UPlift Black
All are welcome! Join a live virtual dance class on February 7 from 2-3 p.m. with Lily Maharaj. Featuring music and dance moves from the African Diaspora. Free registration required. Email firstname.lastname@example.org subject “Dance Class” to register.
Free for all ages! Join this virtual yoga session on February 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Registration required. Email email@example.com subject “Yoga Class” to register.
Black Wellness Professional Feature:
Mental Health Matters!
Inside Mental Health is a weekly talk show that examines mental health issues and removing the stigma. Along with members of the community, the host Debbie Mulder will shed some light on mental health issues, resources and self care techniques. She will explore open and honest discussions about mental health with a reinforced message that you are not alone.
As a registered psychotherapist, Debbie helps people advocate for their mental health. She works to erase the stigma associated with mental health and gives people the tools they need to share their story and recognize that they are not alone on this journey.
BONUS Wellness TIP !!
28 Films to Watch During Black History Month That Aren’t About Black Trauma
UPlift Black Art!
Uplift Black Art Advisor SEAN GEORGE
Black artists continue to have a moment!!! I feel like this moment is here for a long time, here is the work of Black artist and punk musician, Honor Titus.
Courtesy of (https://honortitus.com/Info)
Honor Titus is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Los Angeles, CA (b. 1989/NYC.)
Garnering attention for his youthful punk rock endeavours in outfit “Cerebral Ballzy,” Honor traveled extensively and lead a nomadic (and oftentimes erratic) existence. In NYC, Honor held poetry readings and events that quickly gained noteriety. Through the initial efforts of his band, Honor connected with Raymond Pettibon (who provided the cover art for their self-titled debut.) When not touring, Honor would assist Raymond and thus provided Honor a romance with a new medium.
Since his relocation to Los Angeles (2016) Honor has been diligent in creating new visual work, all with quick demand for his catalogue.
Honor Titus creates “fragmented street scenes” employing a myriad of influence, whether it be jazz music, memory, literature, architecture, or advertisement. The isolation and romance of the cities he’s inhabited and frequented (New York City, London, Paris, and now Los Angeles) are constant motifs.
Toiletries of A Sociopath
Many a man
in the viscous spittle
of groomed & starched leaders
Many a man
for various atrocities
watching themselves dilute
in an overbearing seclusion
Oh, some things are worse than Death!
living vicariously through written letter
Many a man
to allude divinities
does the sharp edge of the gleaming blade
caress the nape of any neck?
long, harsh steps to the city center
for a judgment matinee
Charismatic murderers find respite
in the definitive pessimism
that is atheism
Stout and enduring men
have their strong, rigid
cheekbones pressed against
the knee of a deity
pirouette among the linden trees
on the promenade.
— Honor Titus (2016)
UPlift Black Youth
in Partnership with the Collingwood Youth Centre, In Your Skin Podcast
Ep1 – A Different Perspective
In Your Skin is a podcast hosted by Anisha Bensdira that encompasses real life perspectives revolving around racial struggles and education.
Proudly presenting on episode one, Isaiah Mulcare – an 18 year old student who shares his perception on transitioning out of a diverse community to a predominantly white one. Covering experiences such as micro-aggressions, the absence of racial literacy in education, and much more.
I hope you all can take what it means to be comfortable within YOUR own skin from this podcast, and thank you for tuning into our first episode.
Watch first episode here:
UPlift Your Advocacy Game!
Diversity and Inclusiveness at the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury
The Diversity and Inclusiveness Action Plan will be presented to Council at their regular meeting on February 16, 2021. Please review the plan and provide any feedback by Wednesday, February 10 in order for it to be included in the report to Council.
Read the action plan here:https://www.townofbwg.com/Docs/Council-Committees/Diversity-Inclusiveness-Action-Plan.pdf
Parents of Black Children Needs your voice!
Parents of Black Children is committed to ensuring equity and inclusivity in the Ontario Education System. As such, we have sent the following demands to the Government of Ontario and, specifically, the Ministry of Education.
Read demands here:
Click Here to Contact Minister of Education Stephen Lecce To Show Your Support For Our Demands
YOU can help UPlift, UPlift Black!
Our Social pages with your network
Become a Legacy Member and help us build a safe space for our community
Book UPlift Black for your Equity, Diversity and Inclusion action plans
UPlift Black 2SLGBTQPNIA+
We wanted to take some time this month to give some love to our Black Trans community.
Black Trans People helped to start the Black Lives Matter movement and they need more space and support in this fight for radical change. At no point have Black Trans people shared fully in the gains of the #2SLGBTQPNIA+ or racial justice movements. This HAS to change
Take some time to be acquainted with these organizations that support Trans People of Colour and show your support by making a donation.
Black TRANS lives Matter.
Support here:Resources and links to donate
UPlift Black 2SLGBTQPNIA+
Virtual Coffee Social
in partnership with Innisfil IdeaLab & Library
Feb 14, 2021 11am -12pm
Grab a coffee, tea, or favourite bevvy for a virtual chat. Open to all self-identified 2SLGBTQPNIA+ individuals!
Hosted by Shelly and Chris
16+ – FREE – REGISTRATION REQUIRED
To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org and use the subject “Coffee Social”.